Travel Gear: A Lightweight Rig for Photo and Video in Extreme Locations by Alex Cornell
This is an overview of the perfect lightweight travel rig for shooting photo and video. The foundation is two carry-ons that can be easily transported between cars, planes, hotels, and the field. This rig is meant for a solo-operator, in an extreme location, when time and weight are crucial concerns. It is optimized for quick setup and breakdown. It is *not* intended for shooting a well-planned narrative — rather, it’s meant as the ideal image-capture equipment for spontaneous travel.
This is the gear used to shoot Planet Iceland:
The 1DC is the primary photo unit, also used for 4K video when appropriate (weather sealed). The C100 is the primary video unit, thanks to the autofocus and waveform monitoring. Three lenses cover 16-200mm focal lengths and can be used on both cameras. Accessories include ND filters, external SSDs, tripod, and storage. The two storage units operate best when combined with a small shoulder bag or sling, to use when walking far distances with either camera.
- Full gear list below -
Pelican 1520 Case:
- Canon C100 Dual AF
- Canon 1DC
- Canon 16-35 f2.8
- Canon 24-70 f4
- Canon 70-200 2.8
- At anyone time, each camera has a lens attached. Case is customized to fit them like this to allow for quick access.
InCase DSLR Pro:
- Macbook Pro 13"
- Monster Overdrive 1TB SSD
- Gopro Hero4
- Lexar Dual CF/SD Reader USB 3.0
- Lexar CF and SD cards in Pelican 0945 Case
- Extra batteries for C100/1DC
- ND and Polarizing Filters by B&W
- Gitzo GT1542T with Manfrotto RC2
- Black Rapid Curve with FR-T1
- Ikan D5 (duplicative if you are mostly shooting with C100)
There are a number of different options that would work just as well for this rig setup. I personally prefer the Canon image and found that this combination was best for traveling in Iceland and most recently, Antarctica. It prioritizes versatility and image accuracy.
*I did not bring any loupes, like the Zacuto Z-finder, because taking them on/off can be really annoying when going quickly in and out of a case or bag. For the C100 I relied on the waveform to ensure proper exposure and autofocus to ensure accurate image. On the 1DC, when I did shoot video, I did my best to use the LCD and shot a little under to protect the highlights.
If you have specific questions, feel free to ask them in the comments on Vimeo*. Also would be excited to hear suggestions for future tutorial videos.
Text and videos via Alex Cornell | Follow on: twitter.com/alexcornell or alexcornell.com